Friday, January 3, 2014

Where I Do Not Explain What I'm "Doing."

As of today, I'm changing the title of this thing and not doing whatever it is I was doing (or not doing) before.

Sometimes when I come back to Iowa--and specifically, to dad's back in McCausland--I begin to lose track of "real life" and "actual stuff."  What day/year/month is it?  Not sure. Too many days of scrounging for food, doing nothing, and drinking beer at the BS seem to scramble my brain beyond its capacity to remember facts or information.  I find myself hanging out with Grandma more, too, as my inattention appears to be remarkably similar in effect as her slowly-yet-jovially creeping Alzheimer's.  "Did I already take my medication today?" One of us said.  I don't remember who.

The internet keeps me going though.  There's something magically comforting in the knowledge that, no matter how hard you might try, there is nothing original you could think or create or do.  Someone, somewhere, is already on it.  But what have I contributed to this mass of intergalactic security?  Not much, sadly.  Well, not sadly, as I suppose sadness would require some sort of active opinion on the subject, which--as I've explained--is often sucked into the vortex of swamps, bad cell service, and "ingredients" rather than "food."

I can say, with some confidence, that recently I was on an expedition to a far away town for 8 hours of tattoo-getting (no, *I* don't have a new one--at least that's visible to my own eye).  I remember the name of the place we went to only because of the matchbook I took from there, which states: "CAUTION: These Matches Could Burn The Shit Out Of You" which, at least to me, was a rock of absolute truth in otherwise inane modern-day marketing.  In fact, I was so enamored with that particular warning that I failed to notice the small print beneath, which says "Pound 'em till you piss!" I'm not sure what that means exactly, but I remember at some point having drank just enough to figure out what it meant and directing myself to make a note of such an important discovery in my phone's notepad.  Apparently I forgot to do so.

Today I'm doing (trying) laundry and taking a shower.  I actually started my car and drove to a place as well, though I think nicotine craving had something to do with that.  I have not, however, responded to any texts that say "what r u up to" or anything of the sort.  Describing what I'm "doing" would entail more doing than anything I could try to describe, so I ignore those sorts of questions. (note: if you are a friend who likes to use "what r u doing" sort of information requests, I would suggest more specificity.  Perhaps "Are you wearing pants right now? Or other, similar, binary type questions.)  What snapped me into such productivity today?  My best guess is that a few law school grades from this past semester came in this week.

Ostensibly, this past semester I was enrolled in a bankruptcy law course.  The class met 3 times per week, at 7:30 A.M., and required two textbooks.  The more clever among you could already deduce several things from these basic facts.  I'll confirm: no, I didn't go much (I seem to remember going to 3 classes, but I might have gone to 4 when I was up all night with insomnia and digging novelty), no, there was no attendance policy, and no, I didn't buy the books (though the "code" ((I've always loved that word)) book was given to me by a friend who convinced me that I should take the class).  Instead of going to class (or much of my other classes, for that matter) I spent much of this semester finding cheap beer at new places with interesting characters who, frankly, provide much more education than 99% of the classes I've ever taken.  I even remember thinking, as Rokkosauros sang "Glory Hallelujah" at the top of his voice while hugging old Ron from the Silver Leaf, that there were people out there who would forego these experiences in favor of "responsibility" and "going to class."  I wish them all the success in the world, but I don't hold out much hope.

As some of you "rememberers" might remember, the Shreves-lawschool approach involves a credit-style approach to each semester.  Skip everything, do the minimum required, find adventures, and put it all off on "life-credit".  Then, for 3 weeks at the end of each semester, the bill comes due and it's time to buckle down.  Hard.  So, as usual, I did, and spent 3 weeks almost always sober and usually getting a normal amount of sleep.  By day, I studied. By "studied," I mean "learn the course from the beginning just in time for the test."  Bankruptcy was of course involved, but I had missed so much--and knew so little--that I was actually concerned about passing the class.  I worked hard enough to actually know quite a bit about the subject though, and felt positively adequate as I headed in to take the exam.  Unfortunately it was the hardest exam yet, and for the first time in law school I actually considered the possibility that I did not pass a course.

But then grades came in, and I got an A.  This is not a point of bragging where I'm trying to explain that I was smarter than I thought or expected on a subject.  I--quite literally--fell so far behind on time that I skimmed the last 1/4 of the questions and answered more questions with snap-guesses than I did with higher-level thought processes.  Is law school grading truly random?  Was I the luckiest guesser out there? Was the test so difficult that most of the normal (read: not drunk at the Silver Leaf) students panicked and gave up?  We'll never know.  What I can tell you is that, at least so far, my two best semesters in law school were the one where I tried the hardest, and the one where I tried the least hard.  There's some sort of lesson in that, but I'm not sure I know what it is.

For a final thought, if anyone who reads this and knows a fella with the last name "Smallwood" (seriously) and wants to buy me a Christmas/birthday present, get his '47 Gibson guitar off him and give it to me.  That thing was the guitar equivalent of dating Elizabeth Hurley right before, during, and after her appearance in the movie "Bedazzled."

I heard a buzzer, so either my velveeta noodles are done (it doesn't SAY you can't microwave them) or my laundry needs put in the dryer.  Until next time.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on getting good grades without studying too much - I like your style!